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My Cat Is Scared Of Something I Can’t See – What To Do?

My Cat Is Scared Of Something I Can’t See – What To Do?

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My cat is scared of something I can’t see! What should you do if you find yourself in this situation? Should you panic or try to help your cat?

If your cat appears to be frightened of something that you cannot see, you should always try to calm them down. There’s no reason to panic.

Cats may be scared of things you cannot see because they’re able to sense certain sounds and vibrations that you can’t. If a cat senses something unfamiliar, it can easily get scared. So, if something like this happens, there is some simple cat care you can employ to soothe your pet and restore harmony.

First, you should try to find out what is causing the cat to be scared so you can work out how to help them. Read on to discover some common reasons for behavior problems in cats and what you can do to help them calm down!

My Cat Is Scared Of Something I Can’t See – Why?

Every cat owner knows that their cat’s sense of danger is very acute. Therefore, if you are wondering why is my cat scared of something I can’t see, it is because cats are able to sense certain things that humans cannot.

They may be reacting to unfamiliar noises, vibrations, sudden movements, unknown people or environmental changes.

These stressors may cause behavior problems in your cat that you should try to solve, mostly by proper socialization and training.

So, if you want to help your cat and make them feel safer, first you should know the common reasons that may make your cat feel scared.

Things That Frighten My Cat

If you notice that your cat is scared of something, you may not be able to sense it, hear it, or see it the way cats can.

Almost every pet owner knows that cats have brilliant senses and that are able to sense bad energy, danger, and believe it or not, cats can even sense certain illnesses in people.

However, some things may scare your cat due to trauma they have experienced in the past. Your job is to recognize when your cat gets scared, find the cause for that behavior, and try to calm them down. So, read on to find out what things frighten your cat!

Strange Sounds

Cats’ ears are able to detect high-pitched sounds that neither humans nor dogs can hear. However, loud and stressful noises, especially short and sharp ones, may be really stressful for cats.

These loud noises include traffic noises, car horns, emergency sirens, vacuum cleaner (and similar household equipment), thunder, doorbells, car crashes, roadworks, and similar.

These sounds may be even more frightening for a cat if she had an unpleasant experience with these things, for example a car accident. Therefore, a cat may suffer from trauma, getting scared everytime she hears loud traffic, a car crash, or car horns.

In this case, a cat may start running or hiding, or even show aggressive behavior as a sign that she’s scared and that she wants to escape from experiencing that stressful situation again.

Unfamiliar Smell

As well as an acute sense of hearing, a cat’s smell is also very good. They can smell odors that we humans cannot. Certain odors may frighten the cat, usually because they remind them of certain traumatic events they once experienced.

Unknown Environment

Cats are creatures of habit, therefore if you own a cat, it is best not to move houses a lot as it can be very stressful and frightening for your feline friend.

Cats that are used to one environment may easily get scared and uncomfortable when introduced to a new place.

Also, if they are used to a small environment, they will have a hard time adjusting to the bigger one, regardless of the benefits of having more space for different activities.

So, if you find yourself in this situation, make sure you spend plenty of time with your feline and help her adjust to the new environment. Be there for her to let her know that everything’s going to be alright.

Unknown People

Cats are usually quite independent animals, but there are also many cats who are extremely affectionate and devoted to their owner.

Cats can be great pets for families, however, it’s most likely that they will form a special bond with one person in the household, usually the one who takes care of them the most.

However, problems may arise when guests come to visit. Shy cats are usually not comfortable around strangers, whether you’re there or not.

If a stranger tries to pet the cat or similar, the frightened cat may react aggressively in order to defend themselves.

So, when you’re having guests, the best thing would be to ask them not to touch the cat, or to separate the cat in her own space in a calm room where she won’t be bothered at all.


Knowing that cats are sensitive, they may also react to different vibrations, such as earthquakes. However, cats can feel the tiny vibrations that occur before the actual earthquake, while we can’t.

One night, my cat was lying in her bed. All of a sudden, she jumped out of bed and started running around the house like crazy. After that, she hid under the table and stood still. A few seconds after that, an earthquake began.

My cat had sensed these vibrations before the earthquake, and this scared her and resulted in her running around frantically before hiding under the table.

Sometimes, this can even be helpful in preparing you for an earthquake or something similar.

Sudden Movements

Sudden and unexpected movements may frighten your cat. Cats are natural predators in the wild, and while hunting they are extremely focused on their prey. However, in order to catch the prey and not to get hurt, they have to be hyper aware of sudden movements.

For example, if a shadow moves, that may scare your cat, sending her running away to get to safety.

Suggested: Why Is My Cat Scared All Of A Sudden? 13 Reasons Why

Other Animals

Cats who are used to being alone may feel disturbed with the introduction of another new pet, especially a new cat. They may be scared because their routine is suddenly changed, and they don’t know how the other pet will react.

Of course, your cat will just need some time to adjust and to accept the new pet. Let her know that it’s okay, and everytime she does something positive, make sure you reward her.

Different Objects

Just like introducing new pets, cats may not like new furniture or similar objects and decorations being brought into the home.

These things may frighten the cat simply because they weren’t there before. Now, they need to investigate what it is and why it is there. These new objects may frighten them a bit, but of course, they just need some time to adjust to them.

How Do I Know If My Cat Is Scared Of Something?

A cat’s body language is very important. Cats cannot talk but they can show you their feelings and communicate their needs through their behavior changes. That is why it’s important for every cat owner to be able to read their cat’s body language in order to know what it is trying to tell you.

If you wonder why is my cat scared of something I can’t see, the main reason is because they can sense certain things that humans can’t.

There are certain behaviors that are characteristic for cats when they’re scared and nervous.

So, if you notice some of the cat behaviors that I’m about to mention, it usually means that your cat is scared and that you need to do something to calm them down.

Running Or Jumping

Cats who have experienced certain traumatic events in the past will usually start running or jumping when they are scared or when something reminds them of that traumatic event.

This is the most common behavior in scared cats, because they’re trying to escape from experiencing the same situation that caused trauma in the past.

A Cat Freezes In One Place

On the contrary, instead of running or jumping, another common behavior for a scared cat is standing still in one place.

Scared cats may freeze in one place, and wait calmly like that, until they’re sure that it’s safe to move or they decide it’s time to run away.

Back to the story with my cat, once she had stopped running around, my cat hid under the table, and stood still until the earthquake stopped and she was sure that it was safe to come out.


Hiding is very popular behavior in cats. Usually, cats hide when they’re scared or when they’re in pain. It’s very important to let them stay in their hiding place until they feel completely safe to come out.

Also, animals like cats may not let you know that something is bothering them. They will hold it back until they are overwhelmed. So, if you notice your feline friend hiding constantly, it may mean that she’s afraid of something or that she’s in pain, needing your immediate help.

Dilated Pupils

Dilated pupils are the main telltale sign that a cat is excited but this is also a clear sign of a cat’s fear. Dilated pupils happen when a cat allows more light in her eyes in order to expand her field of vision so she can see more and assess the situation better.

If you notice that your cat’s pupils are dilated, it’s most likely that your cat is scared of something, allowing more light into her eyes in order to see better in case she needs to react.

Signs Of Aggression

If a cat perceives something as a danger, there’s a possibility that she will use her claws as her main defense mechanism to protect herself.

This behavior is usually accompanied with loud vocalization, she is meowing to say that she doesn’t feel safe and to warn everyone.

Flattened Ears

Flattened ears, just like dilated pupils, is another telltale sign that your cat is frightened. Flattened ears are usually followed by behaviors like paw swiping and loud meowing. Many animals have flattened ears when they are scared.

If you notice your cat has flattened her ears, react immediately because this means your cat doesn’t feel safe at all.

Other Signs

Besides these more recognizable signs that your cat is scared, there are other, more subtle, signs. These may help you in understanding the cat’s body language and what it might be feeling.

• Pooping and urinating outside the litter box

• Behavior changes

• Loss of appetite

• Won’t come to you or interact with you

What Else Can Make Your Cat Feel Afraid Or Uncomfortable?

There are many things that can make your cat feel anxious or uncomfortable.

Routine Changes

Cats are animals who require routine. That is why it’s not a good idea to move houses frequently when you own a cat.

However, changes in a cat’s routine may influence the cat’s behavior in similar ways to a frightened cat. There are three main things that can disrupt a cat’s routine:

• New home

• New animal

• New family member

New Animal

An adult cat who has been the only pet for most of her life may get angry or uncomfortable if you get a new pet. These sudden changes can badly upsete her routine and influence her behavior.

If, all of a sudden, your cat has to share everything with a new pet when maybe she’s not ready for it, she may act up.

You will have to give your cat time to adjust to the change and accept the new pet. This may be a long process, but it’s better to be long and keep your pets safe. First of all, separate the pets into two different rooms, and let them be together only under your supervision.

Give them time to adjust to each other’s scents as well as to each other’s presence. Most importantly, be aware that the old cat may get territorial towards the new pet, so you should separate them and feed them in different locations.

Provide each pet with their own food bowl, water bowl, litter box, toys, cat beds, etc.

New Family Member

Cats usually create a special bond with one person – their owner who takes care of them the most. However, they can also be affectionate with other family members as well. But, when it comes to strangers, they may have a problem.

Usually, cats don’t like unknown people and they may be scared. Guests that are not familiar to the cat bring new scents, behaviors, and sounds into their environment and this may frighten the cat and make her uncomfortable.

This is the main reason why cats usually hide when you have guests. If your cat is anxious around guests, it’s very important to tell the guests not to disturb the cat, or to separate your cat into another room.

Babies might pose a problem too. Babies are loud and noisy, and that can scare and disturb your feline friend, especially if they’re not used to it. Loud babies may disrupt your cat’s calm routine.

When it comes to new babies, cats may also be jealous and afraid that they are being replaced. They may become extremely vocal and clingy, imitating the baby’s behavior, because they’re aware that all the attention that once was directed to them is now directed to the baby.

New Home

Moving into a new home can be very stressful for cats as they’re creatures of habits and they value their territory. So, if you have a cat friend, try not to change homes, unless it’s really necessary.

When you get to the new home, your cat may be afraid of the unknown and open space. Now they have to start all over again.

Your cat will need some time to adjust to the new home and you can help her by doing several things. First, you should unpack the cat’s things, the most familiar ones, and provide them with one special spot that will be their own.

Give the cat a few hiding spots as that will be their main activity during the couple of first days. Hiding spots will be their safe place until they are ready to fully investigate their environment.

Another interesting thing you can do for your feline friend is to leave the boxes while you’re unpacking. The boxes can be great hiding places and this can help the cat feel more safe, and this will certainly help them to adjust to the new home more quickly.

Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety can be a problem for cats who are afraid of being abandoned. Your cat may be afraid when you’re leaving her alone, and this can be a serious problem, especially for cats that were abandoned in the past.

If this is the case for your cat, you need to reassure your cat that you won’t leave her alone forever. Make your cat trust you again. The best thing to do is to offer your cat food or treats every time you come home, so that they can understand your return as something positive.

Moreover, make sure that you dedicate plenty of time to playing with your cat when you return home, and eventually they’ll understand that you’ll come home every time and that you’ll have a great time together.

SEE ALSO: Do Cats Need Light At Night? Here’s What You Need To Know

Why Does My Cat Only Act Scared At Night?

Cats are crepuscular animals which means that they mostly sleep throughout the day and are most active at dawn and dusk.

Even though they can see very well in the dark, some cats can be scared at night, especially if there’s no light at all. There are three main reasons for that:

The cat had a traumatic experience at night in the past – your cat may have had a traumatic experience during the night with another animal, and that may lead to your cat being afraid of experiencing that traumatic event again.

If that is the cause of your cat being scared at night, you should keep them indoors during the night as well as playing with them and feeding them before sleep.

Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome – this syndrome is common in older cats and it may cause your cat to wake up often during the night, accompanied with symptoms such as vocalizations, anxiety, and clinginess.

You’re not interacting with your cat – your cat may be stressed during the night because you’re asleep and they want your attention.

SEE ALSO: Why Does My Cat Sit Outside My Bedroom Door? Adorable Or Not?

What Can I Do To Help My Cat If She’s Scared?

Every problem has to have some kind of solution, so if my cat is scared of something I can’t see, there’s probably something I can do to help her calm down and feel safe.

If you want to know how you can help your cat, read on to find out because some of these things were really helpful when I was dealing with this problem.

Find What Causes Your Cat To Be Scared

The first and the most important thing you should do when your cat is scared is to find out what is causing the cat’s anxiety.

Monitor your cat’s behavior in certain situations. Once when you notice behavior changes, you can figure out what has caused them to get scared.

After you notice changes, you should try to remove the source and let your cat know that she’s safe. Eventually, she should calm down.

Leave The Cat Alone

If a fearful cat reacts by hiding or running, remember that it’s very important to leave them alone. Cats run and hide because they’re scared and want to protect themselves.

They’re feeling safe in a particular hiding spot and they’ll eventually get out of it. Don’t try to drag the cat out of that spot as it may act aggressively out of fear, and it may even hurt you.

Provide The Cat With Food And Water

When scared, cats usually avoid eating or drinking. Your job is to provide them with food and fresh water so that they can eat and drink when they feel ready to.

Keep Your Distance If The Cat Gets Aggressive

As already mentioned, when cats are scared they may act aggressively to protect themselves, even towards their owner. So, if this happens, keep your distance from your cat so that they won’t hurt you.

Show your feline friend that you’re not a threat and just ignore the unwanted behavior until it stops.

Don’t Pet Or Hug The Cat

Some cats don’t like to be held or hugged. That is emphasized even more when they’re afraid. Even very affectionate cats may reject your attention when they feel anxious.

So, if you notice that your furry friend is scared of something, don’t try to comfort her by petting or hugging as that may trigger aggressive behavior. Just ignore it until the cat comes to you for comfort.

Therapy Suggested By The Vet

If your feline friend is dealing with anxiety, you can also consult with your vet. Some vets may suggest certain therapies for feline anxiety and phobias.

A vet may prescribe anti-anxiety medications, or suggest you use certain pheromone sprays, or even natural herbs such as catnip or chamomile, to calm your anxious cat down.

Help Them Get Used To Their Triggers

Some triggers are very difficult to remove in order not to stress your cat, such as loud noises and similar. So, the best thing you can do is to help your feline get used to these triggers.

For example, when having guests, let the cat stay in the same room with you, however, don’t try any kind of interaction with it. Just let them adjust to the new sound, scents, and movements. You can reward them with their favorite treats to let them know that it’s okay.

Eventually, the cat will understand that no one will hurt them there, and they may even start interacting with you.

You can also try exposing your cat to certain stressors before activities such as playing, grooming, or petting.

Make sure that you reward your cat with their favorite treat when they calm down. In that way you’ll help them by letting them know it’s okay and that they’re safe with you.

In Conclusion

What to do when my cat is scared of something I can’t see? First of all, you shouldn’t panic but try to help your feline friend to calm down. Cats have brilliant senses, therefore they can sense bad energy or hear certain things that you can’t.

In these situations, first you should find out what frightens your cat. It may be that your cat hears strange sounds or feels vibrations that you can’t.

Moreover, the cat may be stressed because of unknown people around them or even because of a new environment, other animals, unfamiliar objects and similar.

Also, you should be able to recognize the early stages of certain behavior changes that show your cat is scared and stressed. Luckily, this article provides you with possible solutions, so you can calm your cat down.

These solutions were really helpful in my case and I hope that you’ll find the right solution here too. Soon your feline friend will be happy again, feeling safe and comfortable in its environment.

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